Faytarina’s next step

HeyFuture! is one of The Mind Lab’s newest programmes, addressing the lack of confidence and direction that 18 to 22 year olds are experiencing when they finish high school. Our first intake finished the programme in July 2020. Kate sat down with Faytarina to hear what’s happened since graduating.

Imagine being 22 years old, having three kids and trying to find your place in business. Meet Faytarina.

“I was desperate to study or get back into some kind of work but everybody told me that that was impossible with young children and that I would have to wait until my kids went to school to get a job.
Basically, I was stuck.”

Faytarina Tepulolo, recent graduate of HeyFuture!

Faytarina dropped out of her university foundation course in sociology and accounting in 2016, disillusioned and unmotivated. Since then she has been kept extremely busy looking after her three children.

Faytarina’s cousin Tino works at The Mind Lab and would not let Faytarina talk herself out of applying for the programme. “Knowing what people told me about it being impossible finding a job with three small children, I didn’t see the point,” explains Faytarina. 

She arrived at The Mind Lab not expecting very much and feeling very out of place in a room full of students who she knew would be nothing like her. How wrong she was. 

It was so comforting recognising that I’m not the only one feeling lost,” Faytarina comments, “and then the first session happened and it was clear that this was not going to be anything like what any of us had experienced before.”

“Every single speaker was just so honest and open and truthful about not really having to always know the plan, but that keeping curious and ‘getting on with it’ was key. It was incredible hearing every person around you – students and speakers alike – admit to not having it all worked out.”

Faytarina was very moved by one of the speakers, Kensa Randle who, due to her career as an elite athlete, spent a lot of her youth training overseas, making traditional high school impossible. Kensa studied via correspondence and is well-practiced in finding out what she wants to learn, and ‘teaching herself’ via online resources. Faytarina immediately knew what she had to do: “I would spend the next few years just studying online so that I could be business-ready when my children went to school.” 

And Faytarina wasted no time at all – she went home that night and enrolled for an online computer course that began a week before she finished the HeyFuture! programme. (After finishing HeyFuture! she caught up on the week she missed, including all assessments.)

“It’s amazing what joy I get from studying – I can do so much more than I think I can,” Faytarina exclaims.

But it was during a session with Niko Toluono from digital advertising agency 36 PRESENTS that Faytarina’s life began to change. Faytarina asked Niko if he would consider an unpaid 2 week apprenticeship for her so she could see what the industry was all about. “Niko said that he would not feel comfortable doing that, but said he could offer two of us a paid apprenticeship! We were all blown away”

And it didn’t stop there. Since finishing HeyFuture! Faytarina was offered two jobs, completely on her own terms, “they have said that I can choose part time or full time, whatever suits my situation,” explains Faytarina, “and I can work at home and in the office depending on child care.”

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